160th Anniversary Celebrations

This past weekend, Weston Collegiate Institute celebrated 160 years in operation. The school hosted events beginning with a monumental football game on Friday and concluding with an Alumni hockey game on Sunday. Community members, staff, present and past students
alike all came out to celebrate the success of this amazing school.
The events kicked off on Friday the 13th when Weston’s varsity football team played a home game against East York CI. The boys fought hard but unfortunately suffered a loss. However, they kept their heads held high and went into the weekend excited for all the events to come.

Saturday, was when the party really started. The festivities began at 11 am, in the school staff lounge with a breakfast for staff new and old. Facility members who graced Weston’s halls as early as the 1970’s were in attendance, and enjoyed catching up with their old co-workers (and meeting new ones).

As the day drew on, the Alumni foundation continued to pull out all the stops, hosting a ‘pub night’ in the school’s cafeteria. This event was for all past students and staff and was the highlight of the weekend! Memorabilia from the schools past was on display around the café,
as old students reminisced about days past.

Old yearbooks, pictures and even a pair of old skates were all out for everyone to see and read, as they remembered the days they called
Weston home. Current students at the school even took alumni on tours to look at how the school had changed over the years, and to marvel at historic pictures that grace our walls. (Some of which,
included them!) As the night progressed the party grew, and there wasn’t a single person in the room without a smile on their face! Grads from nearly every decade (including a lady who graduated in 1944),
were enjoying catching up and remembering just how much of an impact the school had left on them!

As Sunday approached the final event did as well. Students and staff who had been involved in hockey during their time at Weston ventured over to the Weston Lions Arena to participate in a
friendly hockey match. This was an opportunity for the once students, to play against the people who taught them so many years ago. (Don’t worry no math teachers were mysteriously injured during the tournament.) Weston CI is truly a monumental and amazing school. Despite a rocky reputation, the school is full of some of the most loving and amazing people in the city. For 160 years Weston has never failed to produce outstanding grads who have nothing but amazing things to say about their time in the halls of 100 Pine Street. Here’s to 160 years of Iron Man memories. And many more to come!


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160 Years of Weston CI

Since its opening in 1857, Weston Collegiate Institute has been home to some exceptional graduates. As October approaches, the school prepares to celebrate this momentous occasion. But, before we get into all the amazing things Weston’s Alumni Foundation have in store this year, we must reminisce on all the outstanding milestones Weston has had over the years.

Weston wasn’t always 4 floors of lockers, classrooms with hidden doors and a swimming pool that has all the other schools jealous. Weston was originally called The Weston County Grammar School and was built due to the signatures of 18 local citizens who endorsed its establishment.

Unfortunately, the original school would only be used up until 1875 due to a fire, and while no images are known to exist of the original school, the second one was based on the designs of the first and still holds the heart of the great students who attended it.

Eventually, the school was rebuilt and continued to be a home for all young people in the area to study. As years went by, the school continued to be prosperous and was celebrated throughout the community. However, with an increase in neighborhood population, in 1912 the cornerstone was laid for the expansion of the school. By 1913, the original one-room school had expanded to one with six classrooms, an office, a laboratory, gymnasium, and auditorium.

In 1949, possibly the most iconic changed happened to the school. Weston, whose mascot was previously called “The Knights”, was changed to “The Ironmen”; due to a newspaper article written about Weston’s exceptional and perseverant senior football team. To this day, Weston is known across the city and constantly defies odds with outstanding success. From our SHSM Tech genius’ to our Olympic worthy athletes, the Ironmen are without a doubt some of the most amazing students in the city.

However, the school wasn’t filled with joy and prosperity all the time. In January of 1979, the community and school was faced with a great tragedy. On an outdoor activity ski trip, the bus taking students up north crashed; causing the deaths of four students, and many others faced severe life-changing injuries. Later that year three other students died, from other causes, showing the community how fragile our lives are.

As years progressed, the school and community slowly recovered from these tragic losses and began to prosper once more. The alumni began creating awards and started projects including the ‘Weston Hall of Fame’ which is still one of the most iconic parts of the school. It is made up of pictures and documents of students throughout the years and celebrates their success.

To celebrate 160 years of memories, The Weston Alumni Foundation will be hosting a reunion party, as well as various other events for all grads, community members, and current students.

All Details are listed below

October 13th – Weston CI VS East York CI football game with an Alumni Run BBQ at 2pm

October 14th– Past & current staff Brunch 11am in Weston’s Cafeteria

Alumni Tea Room- 1pm 3pm Weston’s Staff Lounge

Alumni Pub Reunion 1-5pm Weston’s Cafeteria

Westons Current Address– 100 Pine Street

October 15th – Hockey Game at Weston Lions Arena at 12:45

A final thank you goes out to Jane Ross from the Alumni Foundation and the Weston Historical Society, for providing me with all the historical information mentioned in this article!


This article was sponsored by: Luisa Bada: Living in Weston and loving it. 

Two more murals about to be painted

Artist Jason Baerg. Source: jasonbaerg.com

Urban Arts will be completing two new local murals this month. One will be under the Lawrence Avenue bridge and the other under the Scarlett Road bridge. These will be viewable by pedestrians and cyclists and will have an indigenous people theme. Cree Métis artist Jason Baerg, and his team of mural painters presented ideas for comments last night at the Weston Library. Both murals will be painted on long and narrow bridge abutments that run under the respective roads with a stylized thunderbird theme for the Lawrence bridge and a sweetgrass theme for the Scarlett location.

The indigenous people theme is particularly appropriate since the Carrying Place Trail ran alongside the Humber for thousands of years before European settlement of the Weston area.

The Carrying Place Trail Plaque at Little Avenue and Weston Road at its unveiling in 2013.

Progress reports will be forthcoming.

Weston Collegiate grad to study at Yale in September

Studying in the United States “had always been a big dream” of Debbie Dada’s. She’s “grateful” for the opportunity to do so in September.

Debbie recently graduated from the International Baccalaureate program at Weston Collegiate and she will be studying Global Affairs while doing pre-medical school requirements at Yale University. In the future, she plans to work in global health, specifically for the World Health Organization.

She says that she’s had a “really amazing” experience at Weston Collegiate, having made several strong connections with both students and staff. One staff, Mr. Reid, in particular. He was the staff adviser to to the African-Canadian Leadership Committee, which was one of the first clubs Debbie joined at Weston. “He’s been such a great inspiration and help in this journey—especially in this limbo that is high school where you’re trying to make so many important decisions.”

Not only is Debbie a leader in her school, but she is also one within the York South—Weston community.

In early-2016, along with Shaimaa Helal, Debbie created Find Your Path, a grassroots organization that provides motivational resources and scholarships to students that are the first in their family to pursue post-secondary education. The 2017 scholarship application recently launched. Please email fypcanada@gmail.com for the application.

Since having created her youth-led initiative, she has been working with For Youth Initiative, a local non-profit organization that serves York South—Weston youth. “I’ve seen the journey of Find Your Path. Debbie is one of the main reasons why we started our youth-led network,” said Saron Sahlu, the Youth Incubator Case Lead at For Youth Initiative. “She’s written grants and attended several meetings for the network.”

Good luck, Debbie! Weston is proud of you!

Hussen launches youth council

Ahmed Hussen, our MP, has launched a youth council, according to InsideToronto.

“I don’t think we have enough venues and forums for young people to bring forth ideas and then for those ideas to move forward or at least have the chance to move forward,” he said.

“I want to be able to get a sense of what the issues are for young people in my riding. The youth council is one way to do that.”

Melodies under the mistletoe

While the snow fell down in buckets, Weston Colligate institute held their annual winter concert. The frightful weather didn’t hold any of the talents back, however. With performances from the school’s concert band, jazz band, choir, strings orchestra and countless solo acts; everyone in the audience had the time of their lives seeing the students perform. Parents, friends, students and community members braved the frigid temperatures to come see the show.

The choir kicked the night off, singing songs from hit musicals, and the classic Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis. As the night drew on the strings orchestra, Jazz and concert band played amazing instrumentals, that left the crowd speechless. The solo acts included piano duets, guitar ensembles, and even a beautiful singing solo. Every student involved in music at Weston brings their own unique sound and life to the school and music at Weston would not be the same if even just one of them was not there.

“I’ve been in the band for three years, and the winter concert is my favourite event. It really shows you how hard we’ve worked and really gets you in the holiday mood”, was what Italia Santoyo, a grade 11 student at Weston, had to say about the annual event.

The music department at Weston is run by Mr. Nadalin and is one of Weston’s most popular groups. He works tirelessly year-round to make sure that all the students involved in the music program are able to nurture their talents and showcase them to the world. Whether it be through encouraging them, teaching them and putting together two yearly concerts, Mr. Nadalin never fails to do an amazing job with his musicians. In a time where careers in the arts and music are looked down upon, Mr. Nadalin always makes sure his students know that they are extremely talented and never fails to make sure their talent is being appreciated.

“I’m really excited to perform but I don’t want to mess up. I’ve never played in front of a big crowd so I’m nervous and excited” –Isabella Truong, grade 9.

The bands and music council have been putting this concert together since the beginning of the school year, and their hard work was truly shown that night. Although the turnout was not as large as years previous, due to extreme weather; the enthusiasm of the musicians never faltered as they played and sang their hearts out. From heartwarming songs to classic holiday favourites, the band’s passion seemed to radiate off them and warmed the hearts of the guests.

While the weather outside was very frightful, the show was oh so delightful!


This article was sponsored by:Luisa Bada: Living in Weston, and Loving it!